Launching a website that will best achieve your business goals involves a little more than hiring a developer to put your logo and contact details online. In fact, going ahead without proper planning and forethought can result in a website that may look nice but that doesn’t deliver the desired results for either your local business or your customers.
Planning a website doesn’t have to be a complex or overwhelming exercise. The expertise of Yellow Pages’ website team encompasses every step of the process, from design and development to content strategy and promotion. But before you begin, follow these practical steps to ensure your new website fulfills your objectives.
1. Set your goals
The most important up front step in planning a new website is thinking about what you want your site to achieve. What message or messages do you want to promote? Are you looking for a website that generates new leads, or is your focus more on supporting other sales initiatives with centralized business and contact information? (Don’t worry – the answer to that question could be both!) Before you undertake this initial brainstorm work, you should also determine who on your team needs to be involved and who will be making decisions throughout the planning and building process.
The following questions can help you to establish your website goals:
Who are you looking to reach?
Where will customers find your website?
What do you want visitors to know about your company as a result of visiting the site?
What actions do you want them to take as the result of visiting your website?
2. Do your research
Once you’ve defined your goals, spend some time looking at what’s happening online within your local business’s sector. It’s worth checking out competitors’ websites, both to determine what they are doing well and where they are underserving customers. This could reveal areas of opportunity to reach people in ways your competition is not.
Keyword research also provides insight into consumer behaviour and can help you determine what prospective customers are searching for online and when. Google’s keyword planner is a useful tool for sleuthing out the exact phrases customers use when searching for particular goods and services, local and regional search trends and volumes, and other helpful information. You can even enter the URLs of your current website (or competitive sites) to find out what keywords are driving search traffic to them.
3. Start planning
Here is where you start translating the objectives you’ve set out and the research you’ve done into an actionable plan. If you intend to use external experts to build and manage your site, now is a great time to involve them – Yellow Pages website solutions include a professional one-on-one consultation to share your vision so that expert designers, developers, user experience professionals and content creators can build out a website that will make it a reality.
Here are some important questions to answer now:
What will your domain name be?
Where will the website be hosted?
What resources do you have to build, execute and maintain your website?
What content and features do you need to include? Which of these assets do you already have? Which need to be created?
Who will update your website and how often?
4. Get building!
Now that you have a concrete plan of the goals you want your website to achieve and how you plan to build and maintain it, it’s time to execute. This includes creating and finalizing page designs, logos, and site architecture, writing website copy, back end development, and quality testing – all included in Yellow Pages website solutions packages.
Get a website that works for you
A well-planned website is an important tool for generating new business and keeping loyal customers informed and engaged. The good news is that building your website doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming. Yellow Pages’ website team is made up of experts in web design and development, user experience and website copywriting, to make the process a simple one.